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Thursday, April 21, 2011
Increasingly lately I am hearing from people in troubled marriages who are looking for answers. Their words are full of frustration, fear and pain.

Some, such as a commenter on my last post about learning to see your spouse as God sees them, say they have tried what I propose as God’s design for marriage and claim it simply does not (or didn’t) work for them.

There are few pains as deep and lasting as those that come from a troubled or failed marriage. I understand that. And I know that God’s heart breaks with the broken-hearted. So what I offer here is not in any way an attempt on my part to diminish or dismiss the very real pain many feel who look to God and the Bible for answers but don’t get the results they seek.

Fact vs. Truth

The bottom line, when it comes to living a life of faith, is that we must learn to separate the facts from the truth. This is more than a matter of semantics.

The facts are what we perceive; what we see and feel. The facts are very real, yet they are transient and subject to interpretation.

The truth is what we believe, regardless of the facts. The truth is even more real than the facts, though it is often hard for us to see it that way. And the truth is unchangeable.

It’s not popular today to believe in absolutes. We are told that all truth is relative and that no-one has the right to claim they have “the” truth. Even worse, those of us who do believe in absolute truth are accused of being closed minded and judgmental. I suppose you can lump us truth-believers in with Jesus, who ended up being cruelly crucified for proclaiming absolute truth.

What Does God Say?

For me the search for truth is the search to hear what God has to say. God is a good Father, who loves to speak to his children. He speaks in all kinds of ways. Of course The Bible is our master reference for truth, but we can also hear from Him through prayer, pictures, nature, dreams, impressions, visions, and through other people. All this comes by way of the Holy Spirit, who the Bible says leads us into all truth.

Jesus is the ultimate truth bearer. From what I read in the Word about him, his understanding of truth almost never had anything to do with what he saw and felt in the natural. In fact, in most cases, the truth he proclaimed and operated under ran in direct opposition to his circumstances.
  • Jesus slept peacefully in the boat through a terrifying and fierce storm.
  • Lazarus was dead. Three days dead. That didn’t stop Jesus from raising him to life.
  • The woman with the issue of blood spent her life looking for medical answers. One touch of the hem of Jesus’ garment was all it took to be instantly healed.
  • Where there was nothing but water, Jesus saw wine.
  • To Jesus, two pennies (from a poor widow) was more than a vast treasure (given by a rich man).Yep, Kingdom math.
  • Dozens of times Jesus beat up the Pharisees for exalting facts over truth. “The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.” “They worship me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.”

The Gospels are full of Jesus radically injecting truth into the facts.
This side of heaven we are only going to understand in part, and we’re going to get some stuff wrong. But to me that is no reason not to go hard after truth. I want to pursue with abandon the truth of the Kingdom of Heaven to the point where the facts and circumstances of my life don’t dissuade me from it. I’m not there yet, but I'm not finished yet either.

The Facts and Truth of Your Marriage

Have you prayed for years for an unsaved spouse? Keep praying, because the truth is that prayer changes things, even if not in our time-frame or in the manner we deem best.

Have you been bitterly disappointed when the love you give your spouse doesn’t seem to be returned in kind? Keep giving love, because God calls us to love like Jesus loves: unconditionally.

Have you chosen the path of surrender, only to see your spouse frequently take advantage of your selflessness? Keep surrendering for the sake of your marriage, because the way of surrender is God’s way for marriage.

Does your marriage seem hopeless? Don’t give up, because the God of hope dwells inside you.

I want to encourage you to relentlessly seek God’s truth about marriage in general and about your marriage in particular. Never stop asking how God sees your spouse and gaining his perspective on the facts and circumstances that you face.

Do you have some truth to share that shed light on the facts of your own experiences? Leave a comment below.

Here are a few  helpful links for those in painful
and difficult marriage circumstances:
What if My Spouse Doesn't Respond (Part 1) by Emmerson Eggerichs
What if My Spouse Doesn't Respond (Part 2) by Emmerson Eggerichs
My Response is My Responsibility by Emmerson Eggerichs


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